Now that we have entered a new year, people are going to be following through on resolutions they made. We would like to suggest that you resolve to plan your estate in 2014 if you are not currently prepared.
Majority Go Without Estate Plan
Surveys that are periodically conducted consistently find that the majority of American adults have not executed all of the appropriate estate planning documents. Younger adults are more remiss than their older counterparts, but many older people are unprepared as well.
This is a remarkable phenomenon, because everyone is definitely going to pass away. Most people would say that the well-being of their families is more important to them than anything. When you plan your estate, you are taking action for the benefit of your family.
The fact that so many younger adults are going through life without an estate plan is disturbing because of the potential fate of their minor children. The children of senior citizens are going to be self-supporting for the most part. On the other hand, people in their 20s, 30s and 40s often have dependent children.
Two incomes are generally required to maintain the standard of living that young families enjoy. If one source of income suddenly vanishes, where will the family be financially?
Then there is the possibility of both parents passing away together in an accident.
Estate planning is definitely a must for all responsible adults, regardless of age.
Estate Plan Revisions
Many people who do have an estate plan in place have not looked at it in many years. When you are considering New Year’s resolutions, you may want to schedule an appointment with an estate planning attorney to review your existing plan.
The estate plan that was originally constructed was based on a snapshot of your life at that time. Things change over the years. There are inevitably going to be additions and subtractions to the family. Changes in marital status are not uncommon.
Your financial situation could improve dramatically, and the estate tax could become a factor. In addition to your own situation, tax laws are always changing. If your estate plan was planned a number of years ago, it would have been constructed while laws were in place that are now outdated.
Estate planning is not a “one and done” endeavor. When you put an original estate plan in place you should think long term. You are developing an ongoing relationship with your estate planning attorney that should be maintained throughout your life.
You may actually want to plant the seed for a multi-generational relationship with your lawyer, since estate planning does involve passing the torch from one generation to the next.
Take Action in 2014
If you do not have an estate plan in place, or if your existing plan is in need of a revision, take action in 2014. Register for one of our upcoming free Living Trust Seminars.